Despite critics’ claims that the ACA would weaken Medicare, the ACA has had the opposite effect. That’s good news, considering that millions of Americans now pay into Medicare through payroll taxes and are anxiously waiting to become eligible for its benefits.
From 2011 through 2014, Medicare spending grew an average of only 3.1 percent per year, despite a 3.6 percent annual increase in the number of beneficiaries. That’s about half the annual growth rate that the program had experienced in the preceding decade.
And according to a 2014 report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the ACA “substantially improved [Medicare’s] financial outlook” The Medicare trust fund is now expected to remain solvent until 2030, which is 13 years beyond what was projected without the ACA.
Understanding the options is critical
Even if Medicare isn’t in your immediate future, learning about its coverage options should be a top priority. With a growing Silver Sneakers population, it’s likely you’ll end up helping a friend or family member navigate Medicare’s confusing maze of coverage options.
The Medicare Resource Center is your guide through that maze, featuring an extensive collection of resources:
- a guide to Medicare’s plan options and benefits, from eyeglasses to hospital beds and hospice care;
- an explanation of the gaps in its coverage
- eligibility and enrollment guidelines;
- a glossary of Medicare terms;
- answers to the most frequently asked questions;
- links to dozens of resources, including providers and plans that are right for your needs.